More often than not, our knowledge of honey remains simply fixated on bees, flowers, and nothing more. In Ilog Maria’s honeybee farms in Cavite, there are many, many stories to tell. From their early struggles in the 80’s to their dealings with Colony Collapse Disorder and predation that threatened their farms, Ilog Maria is a success story which shows in their 100% locally made organic products—from virgin honey, to propolis, beeswax, honey cider vinegar, natural cosmetic products and more.
I was lucky to be entertained by Marian Magsaysay, daughter of the owners Joel and Violaine Magsaysay, when I visited back in August of 2016. She gave me a short tour of the farm, where I got to observe their stingless bees, which come from Europe. While they do not sting, they do bite and thus she advised me not to get close to the hive, which was displayed along the paths in the farm. I also learned about their honey generation process, and found out that honeybees eat their own honey as well; something I used to think was strange and unlikely. I was then left to my own devices in their store, which sells a multitude of organic bee products, a lot of which I bought to bring home as gifts.
Ilog Maria and its people take their spirituality to heart. Armed with the values that make them closer to nature and to God, they maximize their harvest and respect their own honeybees, maintain a very diverse flora in their farms and minimize their carbon footprint. Ilog Maria almost feels less like a farm and more of a natural reserve, where the bees and the people share a relationship with nature.
The farm has gained a solid reputation from around the country and has successfully shipped a lot of products in the last two decades. Their products, which range from edible honey to soaps (Php 40-70) and propolis, all promise health benefits that improve your immune system and help you detoxify and improve your overall well-being. Their best-selling Bee Propolis (Php 80-200) in different forms is their natural antibiotic, containing antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. According to their website, which is a treasure trove of information, the Propolis “stimulates tissue regeneration, antibody formation and strengthens & stimulates the immune system.”
Not to be outdone by their edible products, Ilog Maria also has organic soaps, shampoos, and other topological remedies that provide many different health benefits, from relaxation to energy boosters. The 10-hectar farm provides space for a lot of bees and thus, a lot of natural products that they harvest use methods borne from more than 30 years of experience.
Here are other Ilog Maria products that are highly recommended: Lots of honey-based skincare products (Php 80-1000 depending on volume), Beeswax candles (Php 80-500 depending on design), Spa products like bath salts, lavender oil, bath gel (Php 100-120)
Ilog Maria may be a common staple in organic products, but their farm and store are nevertheless worth a visit each time. You may order their products through their website, and read about their history and produce. Apart from products, they also officially host tours in their farm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 8-10 A.M.
A simple yet mindful decision to choose what we consume and put on our bodies matter greatly in the long run. And patronizing organic products like Ilog Maria is an intentional choice I made, because for me, caring for my body is my way of honoring God who created me. This is also the reason why I am sharing these with you so you will be encourage to find better alternatives that nurtures your total health.
That said, I urge you to take a trip to Ilog Maria’s honeybee farm to get a break from the hustle and bustle of city life and have a healthy boost by sampling their many organic alternatives to support your overall well-being, which are all lovingly brought to you by the modest yet valuable honeybees.
Address: KM. 47 Aguinaldo Highway, Lalaan 1, Silang, 4118 Cavite
Contact Number: (0917) 502-7538